Retrocon 2024

Jewelry Trends From The '80s That Made A Huge Statement

When you think of '80s fashion, you think bold, daring, and over-the-top. This era was all about expressing individuality, from big hairstyles and vibrant makeup to stone-washed denim and funky patterned attire. Whether you’re heading to the office or hanging with friends, dressing in the eighties presented a chance to make a statement. Of course, no outfit is complete without the right accessories, which is why these jewelry trends will go down in history.

Oversized Earrings

While there’s always a time and place for traditional studs and hoop earrings, the '80s is when oversized earrings became trendy. Wearing large hoops, pendants, or dangle earrings that match your outfit was the thing to do. Shapes were also a very popular earring trend in the '80s, with large earrings in the shape of triangles, diamonds, rectangles, circles, stars, and hearts.

Solitary diamonds, pearls, stones, and colorful beads were popular for business or formal occasions. Bamboo earrings, metal pendants, and shoulder-length hoops paired well with everyday wear or nightlife attire.

Even the guys started wearing earrings in the 80s, opting for crosses and cubic zirconia earrings in the left or right ear.

Necklace Styles Galore

Necklaces have always been a popular fashion accessory, but the styles of necklaces and how they were worn evolved in the '80s. There are many antique necklaces like those worn by Hollywood stars, that are meant to make a true fashion statement. Some of the most extraordinary jewelry came from this time period.

Strands of pearls could be worn as is, paired with other strands, or get tied in a knot. Rare gemstones served as beautiful pendants and charms that made an impactful statement. If you were a fan of urban wear back in the '80s, then large chainlink necklaces and chokers were trendy. Layering necklaces also became popular in the '80s for women and men.

Bold Brooches

Brooches were once thought of as something for the rich and famous, royalty, and older women, but the '80s brought this jewelry trend back with a bold twist. From designer brooches like Coco Chanel and Gucci to stylish gold and silver-plated pieces draped in gemstones and pearls, there was a brooch to fit just about anyone’s tastes. It wasn’t uncommon to see younger women wearing denim or leather jackets with brooches pinned all over.

In today’s fashion world, antique jewelry lovers’ brooches have a more widely known name, most other people call them pins or enamel pins. Millennials use enamel pins in various ways. Except as a fashion accessory, people use pins to state their ideas and beliefs. As the slogan of well-known pin maker, EnamelPins Inc. states: “I Don't Wear Pins, I Wear Attitude.”

Cocktail Rings Fit For Royalty

Keeping with the bold, colorful, and expressive theme of the ’80s, cocktail rings were a popular jewelry option. They came in just about any shape, color, metal type, and size and stood as a symbol of wealth and confidence. Paired with an equally large and colorful gemstone bracelet, these trendy cocktail rings could be worn on a date or to a black-tie event.

Princess Diana brought cocktail rings to the world’s attention with her sapphire engagement ring. Of course, Princess Kate made it famous once again when she got engaged to Prince William in 2010.

Jelly Bracelets

Thanks in part to Madonna, the pop princess of the ’80s, the jelly bracelet became a jewelry fashion staple that no one will ever forget. These rubbery pieces of jewelry came in a variety of colors and patterns and looked great individually or layered from the elbow to the wrist.

Friendship Bracelets

Who didn’t have a BFF in the ’80s? Well, the best way to show off your friendship and look fashionable while doing it was to purchase matching friendship bracelets. Every teenage girl wanted to receive colorful bands and matching charms. Believe it or not, friendship bracelets are still popular today.
Ra'ike (see also: de:Benutzer:Ra'ike), CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The ’80s may be decades behind us, but some of its fashion trends remain prevalent in our minds. Known as the era where women were stepping away from tradition and into individuality, the styles were bold, colorful, and unique. Many jewelry designers today use concepts from the 80s to create vibrant statement pieces as empowered women strive to take center stage once again.

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